With autumn now upon us, one of the year’s most celebrated religious festivals is fast approaching.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the major events celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, notably Newar Buddhists, across the world.
The five-day long festival originated in the Indian subcontinent and is mentioned in early Sanskrit texts.
The festival had to be scaled back last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but was still celebrated by families across the city in their homes.
The University of Birmingham also hosted a star-studded virtual concert, and the Library of Birmingham was lit up.
Here’s everything you need to know about the festival this year.
When is Diwali 2021?
Diwali, also known as Divali or Deepawali, is celebrated over five days. It is referred to the festival of lights because of the incredible light shows that are often on display during the celebration.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
The festival’s date changes each year because the Hindu calendar is based on the lunar and solar cycles, but it always falls on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik.
This year, the festival begins on Thursday, November 4.
How is the festival celebrated?
In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants will prepare by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces with diyas (oil lamps).
During Diwali, people wear their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas and rangoli, perform worship ceremonies of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared.
Community parades, fire works and light displays take place in cities and towns, with thousands previously coming together in Victoria Square and Soho road in Birmingham.
The countdown to Diwali 2021 is on!
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